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Employee disengagement and apathy are at an all-time high. It costs businesses billions of dollars annually by seeing decreased profit margins, less innovation, and slumping company-wide morale. To improve engagement and combat apathy and cynicism, HR leaders must treat their employees with respect and consideration, while earning their respect in return. To invoke this change, leaders need to understand that it begins with them.

Here are the nine commandments great leaders use to encourage change within the company.

To improve engagement and combat apathy and cynicism, HR leaders must treat their employees with respect and consideration, while earning their respect in return.

1. Make Purpose Personal

Today’s workforce seeks to work in organizations they admire and have a purpose.  They also want to be able to look up at their leaders. To meet these expectations, HR leaders need to embody the organization’s mission in both words and actions. The purpose will inspire people, while numbers will measure progress. Never confuse the two.

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2. Practice What You Preach

Employees are bombarded continuously with directions from their superiors to be productive, innovative, or more efficient. Over time, these words have lost all meaning and have turned into background noise for people having to hear them always. You will first need to be an example and do what you want others to do.

3. Promote Truth-Telling

Employees that can’t speak honestly about their company will, sooner or later, develop a victim mentality. Promote a truth-telling culture and co-accountability where people can feel safe to tell each other the truth about their company and their role within it.

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4. Balance Trust and Control

Both trust and control are crucial in any organization. HR Leaders need the best way to balance both; to know when to exercise a firm rule and when to let employees use their good judgment.

5. Dialogue

You’d be surprised by how much regular power talks with employees have. People need to believe they matter within the organization, and regular discussions will show that you hold them and their opinions in high regard. By communicating effectively, you can tap into the collective intelligence of the group and leverage it to the company’s benefit.

6. Tap The Untapped Intelligence

Often when HR leaders engage with employees in genuine dialogue, they are surprised at how much, untapped intelligence and potential exists. By keeping the staff engaged and up-to-date on the company’s challenges, you’ll get meaningful input. It is much better than having to instruct them at every turn.

7. Use Humour

You can use humour to communicate essential truths and make the work environment into a safe space for truth-telling and collaboration. When employees can laugh between themselves, they are more inclined to speak freely.

8. Embracing Employee Variability

HR leaders will generally want things to go according to plan and aren’t too keen on employee variability. It’s precisely this aspect in people which provides individual high performances, makes the company special, and should be celebrated.

9. Forsake Thy Ego

HR leaders need to understand that not everything at work revolves around them. Instead of focusing on themselves, leaders need to focus on their employees, to engage them and put them first. A company is only as good as its employees.

Applying these principles within your business will not only help you as an HR leader and your leadership team but will also turn your employees into powerful assets that will push your company forward. For some complimentary advice, book an appointment at or call me at +1 (604) 943-0800.

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Inscape Consulting Group
Greg Nichvalodoff, BSc. BM (Honors), MBA, PCC, CMC
Office: 604.943.0800
Mobile: 604.831.4734